Tag Archives: Alex Box

Illamasqua Launch at the Myer Spring/Summer Parade in Sydney

Illamasqua makeup for Myer by makeup artist Alex BoxThursday’s fashion parade for Myer’s Spring/Summer collections was all glitter and mayhem backstage, with 22 makeup artists, 75 models, 7 manicurists and a veritable fleet of hairdressers all working their creative magic to make the girls look breathtaking.

New makeup kid on the block, Illamasqua, just arrived from the UK and selling like the proverbial hotcakes at Myer, was sponsoring the show so we were using all of their products to create the looks. We were also fortunate enough to have the Illamasqua creative director, Alex Box, here to direct the show, which is a rare treat.

I’ve assisted Alex in London and Paris for a long time so I was heading up the Ready to Wear section of the parade whilst she was looking after the Avant Garde Gold section. Dressed in the season’s hottest trend of nude dresses the models literally looked like they’d swum out of a golden, glittery sea. Genius hairdresser Brad Ngata did an amazing job on the hair, which was either loose, gorgeous and sexy hair for the Ready to Wear models, or for the golden girls slicked back with gold leaf through it.

We were lucky to get some of Sydney’s top makeup artists to work on the show as many of them are fans of Alex’s editorial work, so backstage it was lovely to see some of our major makeup stars working side by side.

Illamasqua very kindly gave every artist a full set of Illamasqua brushes so we were all getting into those, particularly the Contour and Buffing Brushes. I love the feel as they are made of synthetic fibres so they are cruelty free, super soft and easy to clean. This was big makeup so we put those bad boys to work!

Both the looks were heavily contoured so we used cream foundation to perfect their skin, and then spent quite a bit of time buffing in contouring and highlighting powders (key to both looks was the layering of products). Here is a breakdown for Alex Box’s Gold Avant Garde Goddesses.

Illamasqua Avant Garde Gold
All products are by Illamasqua


  • Flatten brows against the skin using soap and a toothbrush to create an exaggerated bushy shape
  • Illamasqua Satin Primer all over face
  • Using Illamasqua cream foundation about two shades darker than their natural skintone, start bronzing the skin with the Foundation brush.
  • Contour the skin using Illamasqua Rumour powder blush (a grey tone) then work into the same area with Disobey Powder blush, a biscuit colour, using the Blush Brush 2 over the brow, up into the temples, under the chin and down in to the neck. The combination of colours is what brings dimension to the face.
  • Using Illamasqua Bronzer duo in Glint/Burnish, dust the dark side of the bronzing duo over the same contoured area again.
  • Use the lighter side of the Bronze duo Glint/Burnish, fill in the areas of the face that weren’t covered with the contour/bronzer to start bringing radiance to the centre of the face.
  • Using Create blush, go over the chin, forehead, neck, ears and cheek area using wide, sweeping motions and a Blush Brush 1 brush, but avoiding the nose.
  • Take Marvel pigment and a Blush Brush 1 brush to go over the whole face, but adding more gold through the centre of the face. Work gradually to build the colour.


  • Illamasqua Wolf Powder shadow is used first to get the shape of the eye, creating a strong contour shape up into the crease and over the lid. Take the Wolf shadow quite high on the crease, and use an Eyeshadow Brush to smudge underneath eye to make a dramatic round shaped eye.
  • Using Gimp shadow, a matte black, go over the whole lid and up into the crease, with the Eyeshadow Brush, and under the eye as well. Make sure it is stronger on the outer 2/3rds and up into the crease area for extra drama. Soften the outer edges with a Blend Brush 1 underneath so it blends in with the gold on the cheeks.
  • Line waterline with black Sophie pencil and smudge all around eye. Blend in well with the Gimp shadow.
  • Spatter Solstice Liquid Metal (Gold) on inner eye corners and tear ducts using fingers and a Lip Brush. It should cover the inner 1/3 of the eye, and look quite organic. Take under the inner eye corner as well with the Lip Brush.
  • Gold Marvel pigment goes over this, with the same Lip Brush.
  • Harness mascara (black) top and bottom lashes
  • No 13 lash is applied to top lashes.
  • Use Gimp shadow with Eyeshadow brush along the upper lashline to make sure there are no gaps in the black
  • Illamasqua Android pigment goes on the outer corner of the lid, just up to where it meets the gold on the inner corners, with Eyeshadow Brush
  • Solstice Liquid Metal is painted all over neck, body and ears with Foundation brush.
  • Spatter large craft glitter in gold randomly over hairline and neck and shoulders


  • Gold highlight lip using Solstice Liquid Metal on cupid’s bow and Lipliner Brush.
  • Add Brilliant clear gloss with Marvel pigment in it with fingers in the centre of lips.

Stop Press! Alex Box runs a 2nd Master Class in Sydney

Alex Box's beauty shoot - Japanese Vogue

Most of you will no doubt know by now that makeup master Alex Box is in Sydney this week for the launch of her makeup brand, Illamasqua, at the upcoming Myer show. It’s been a pretty action-packed few days but yesterday’s Hair and Makeup trial for the show was an amazing experience – the glitter came out and Alex put her brushes and the full Illamasqua palette to work.

A very rare opportunity has come up as part of this visit – Alex will be conducting Master Classes this Saturday, 31st of July at the Myer store in Sydney, so if you want to learn makeup from one of the world’s best makeup artists, this is your chance. The cost is $95, redeemable in Illamasqua product, and after yesterday’s makeup fun-fest I can tell you I have a wish-list as long as my right arm! I found out today there are only a couple of spaces left, so for bookings call 1800 661 210.

Stop Press! Cult Makeup Brand Illamasqua Are Coming to Australia

Illamasqua Australia

Great excitement at MM HQ! Illamasqua, the incredible UK makeup brand with an almost evangelical cult following in the UK and US (where they sell nationwide through Sephora) is launching in Australia in June. It caused a sensation when it launched in the UK last year with its theatrical grade pigment, amazing range of foundation shades (from pure white to dark chocolate), and its extraordinary aesthetic make it beloved of makeup heads everywhere.

Having worked with Alex Box, the brand’s Creative Director, for a number of years I can attest to the fact that no-one does avant-garde better than Alex (even, and I’m going to whisper here, because it’s heresy) Pat McGrath. Just witness some of the work from her best selling makeup book, The Makeup Artist, full of the most incredible and creative makeups. But Alex also does incredibly beautiful straight makeup as well. Last time when I worked with her in Paris, at Karl Lagerfeld’s studio for Numero magazine, she had Freja Beha, one of my favourite models and a Chanel muse, looking incredible in nothing but gleaming skin, contour and graphic eyeliner (and couture darling – needless to say!)

Alex’s creative approach to makeup infuses the whole brand – quality pigments in unique colours and finishes, an artistic sensibility and the idea that difference should be celebrated, diversity is wonderful and everyone should be able to express themselves with makeup – all ideas that I can fully get behind.

I for one can’t wait until it hits stores Australia-wide. It will be on counter in Myer as of the 21st of June. To whet your appetite, have a look at www.illamasqua.com, which is a dangerous site as they also ship internationally for those of you who just can’t wait!

New Collections – Illamasqua Body Electrics

Illamasqua Body Electrics

Illamasqua Body Electrics

With summer on it’s way, even more exciting than getting out in the sun at lunchtime to eat your sandwiches is the new makeup collections coming out. The new Body Electrics collection by Illamasqua is based on body creams and kinetic energy, and if the videos and images are anything to go by, it is ace! The photos were shot by famed London based photographic duo Nick Thornton Jones and Warren du Preez (who I have also had the pleasure of working with on a number of occasions), and hair by the hair whisperer, James Pecis. Makeup of course is by makeup master chef, ALEX BOX. This is makeup for just the fun of it, and Illamasqua fans will be delighted to see a four palette of their Liquid metals in this collection – that’s right, gold, silver, bronze and frosty white, all in one handy little palette. Already, I’m I love. Plus the nail polishes – don’t get me started…

Here to get your pulses racing, I have for your enjoyment backstage footage of Body Electrics, and Alex talking about the inspiration for the collection.

Illamasqua Nail Competition

Illamasqua Nail Varnish CompetitionBy starting my blog, I have discovered a few strange things about myself that I didn’t know before: I don’t like writing in the afternoon, I’m obsessed (and probably always will be) with Shu Uemura eyelash curlers, I’ve never met a primer that I didn’t think was a load of old bollocks , and I have a secret, unexplored fetish for nail polish. Bizarre in that I have no desire to wear it myself (can’t be bothered), but I absolutely love all the colors it comes in. So when I found out about this new nail polish comp from Illamasqua, I just had to let you know.

They are launching a global competition to discover the ‘It’ colour of 2010 – right up there with the Chanel nail stars like Jade and Particuliere. Simply send in your entry describing in 50 words or less why your color should be the one. Include an image or photo of the idea (the grey of your cat’s tail, the inside of a crocus, your favourite cupcake frosting – whatever floats your boat), and the winning idea will be put into production and sold at Selfridges around the UK by October 2010. The judges are indeed a stellar line-up – the world’s most creative makeup artist Alex Box, manicurist to the stars Sophy Robson, and Pixiwoo, the YouTube makeup artists who leave Lauren Luke in the dust.

Get those thinking caps on fellas!

Alex Box and Rankin Book Launch

Alex-Box-MakeupLast night was the champagne fueled and much anticipated launch of makeup artist Alex Box’s amazing new book, The Makeup Artist, with photographer Rankin.

At the Annroy gallery in North London over 400 of the city’s fashion luminaries were there to mark the occasion. Jefferson Hack, Anouk Lepere and Erin O’ Connor were just a few of the fashion pack who came to admire Alex’s incredible makeup artistry. Blown up and super-sized it was possible to really admire her attention to detail and her extraordinary imagination. It is the first publication and exhibition of her work – if you want to see makeup without boundaries, this is it! The exhibition is on at the Annroy Gallery, Kentish Town, from the 23rd October to the 23rd November, and the book is published by Turnaround and retails for £50. For any lovers of the divine Miss Box’s work – and they are legion! This book is a must-have.

Alex Box is creative director of Illamasqua Cosmetics and her editorial work can regularly be seen in V, Numero and Vogue.

Illamasqua Makeup Master Class with Alex Box

Selfridges, Oxford Street, London

The genius makeup artist Alex Box is doing her first master class for her eponymous line, the wonderful Illamasqua, at Selfridges on Friday July 3rd (6-8 pm), and Saturday July 4th (11-1pm).  The class costs £20, redeemable in product, and places are filling fast so if you want to go you’d better call them NOW on 0207 318 3788.

Having seen Alex work I can tell you that you are in for a real treat – she is an absolute master at what she does. To get you in the mood, here is another of her Illamasqua videos, the Siren.

Also don’t forget to check out their new blog at www.illamasqua.blogspot.com

Brand Breakdown: Illamasqua

IllamasquaIt was hard to choose which brand to look at first in an in-depth way because there are so many great ones, but I have chosen Illamasqua a)because it’s new, and b) because it’s ace.

It’s a UK brand (the first UK beauty brand to launch in 16 years!) that launched in November in Selfridges in London and has done so well that this week alone they have opened counters in Dublin, Newcastle and Glasgow. The next move is to open in the US, but until then our American cousins can buy from their internet site, (as of today!) at www.illamasqua.com.

One of the things I love about it is that it’s such an extensive range – 842 products, to be exact. The pigmentation is quite frankly unrivalled as the products have the heft of a theatrical product but amazing blendability – plus the color selection is extraordinary. If you are a fan of a MAC, you seriously need to check out Illamasqua. To my mind it’s what MAC used to be back in the day before when they first started – remember those rugby scrums on counter to get a Spice lipliner? Good times!

The line itself has been designed to go as far as you want to go with it. It has quite a gothic, sub-culture bent which lends itself to extreme makeup, so you know whatever you’re looking for you will find. The creative director is the amazing makeup artist Alex Box and she brings to the line her painterly approach and unique editorial eye. Alongside her work with Illamasqua  she can be found shooting magazines like Vogue, W and Visionaire with photographers like Karl Lagerfeld and Nick Knight, and doing shows for Gareth Pugh and Alexander McQueen, so she really knows what she is doing!

Her sensibility comes clearly through the line in her extensive use of color and the rich pigmentation. They have fabulous eyeshadows (and if you’re a bright eyeshadow fan, is this the place for YOU!), great blushes, amazing lashes, a nailpolish range designed by manicurist to the stars, Glenis Baptiste that will seriously rock your socks off, and matte lipsticks that are both creamy and dense, plus they come (apart from the normal stuff like red, pink, orange etc), in black, white, gold and silver. Makeup happiness found here!

The star product from their new Sirens collection for me would have to be the Liquid Gold, a shimmering gold crème. What I like about it is that it’s not too yellow, it’s more of a burnished color – none of that nasty Goldmember business!

illamasquarangeThe foundations and powders I have yet to try but what I do love about them is that the foundation comes in 21 shades from purest white to almost black, and I do love a line that recognizes that not everybody is the colour of a melted Barbie doll and has something for everyone.

The coverage on the foundations and powders is definitely on the fuller side as the range was designed to be a night-time, going out range. My style is generally more about seeing the texture of the skin, but when you are doing a very full makeup it is necessary since the style of Illamasqua makeup is almost reconstructive. It’s not about enhancing your natural prettiness as much as it is about creating a brand new face – whatever that fantasy face might be! For editorial work though the Rich Liquid foundation has better coverage than MAC Full Coverage foundation, and the Light Liquid is like a heavier version of MAC’s Face and Body (which I love). And a lot of the color products (like eyshadow, blush and lipstick) are matte, which is wonderful as you can always add shimmer but you can’t take it away. They do lovely shimmer pigments and creams which can be added to any of the makeup (including nailpolishes), but it’s nice to have a range that wasn’t designed with a disco ball in mind.

Basically it’s pretty much makeup nirvana!